Kelsey Kirkman: Students Motivations

Something that you want us to know about you or something about you that is interesting. Something that is interesting about me is my flexibility. I am naturally flexible and because of gymnastics and cheerleading I am even more flexible than normal. I think that this has come in handy for the sports I was involved in and now my profession. However, to many this is sometimes gross and disturbing but it's apart of me and a special trick:)
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Explain your education & career goals. My ultimatecareer goalis to be an upper elementary public school teacher. The way that I have gotten here is unconventional though. Originally I was attending Oregon State University with the goal of being a nurse anesthetist. It wasn't until my boyfriend and I started dating that I looked at my future and what I truly wanted out of my life. I saw myself as having a family and my dream career no longer fit into my picture. I knew that I wanted to help those I work with, make a difference, and I love children. This is where education comes into play and now I aspire to be a public elementary teacher.

What brings you joy? My family, boyfriend (Zachary Morgan), and my dogs bring me joy. Right now the majority of my joy comes from my boyfriend alone. This is because he is going to school at Sacramento State University and I miss him very much. He is a pitcher for the baseball team and I love to see him play. Unfortunately I am only able to see him once a month or two. Zachary is my best friend and truly makes me happy. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him. I also enjoy cheerleading and racing.
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I have been cheering for 9 years now and I am a head instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association. My dad has been racing drag boats for 22 years and he holds two world records. In the process of growing up around motors, boats, and racing, I too have raced jet skis and won a couple championships. Anything associated with Disney is something that brings me joy as well.
What is your greatest fear about being a teacher?My greatest fear when it comes to teaching is failing. Failing to excite students about learning. Failing to give children opportunities to succeed in every subject. I could not live with myself knowing that I let a student down and did not give them every opportunity to be the best they can be.

Did you ever experience a time when something was extremely difficult to learn? School has come very easy for me and there were times that I struggled but my work ethic and drive helped me. When thinking of something difficult I automatically picture my time in gymnastics.

Explain that time and how it made you feel. I was a gymnast for twelve years and within this time broke my arm twice and had two surgeries
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because of the second brake. Through recovery and fear I had many coaches use different approaches. Many times I was discouraged because of these approaches, pressure, and what was said. Either way I found out a lot about myself and it improved my work ethic, perseverance, and drive. Gymnastics was not something that came easily to me but I worked very hard and I am thankful for what I accomplished during this time.


How might this piece of your history help you connect to students with learning differences? Because of this experience I know the ways that I am not encouraged and gain education from and I believe this will help me to understand the differences of others. Not being encouraged was a huge problem. It caused me to not trust or have faith in my coaches. This was one of the largest problems when it came to me learning and conquering new skills. I will make sure that the environment I create will help my students to be comfortable, trust me, be open, and enjoy the learning process.

What do you want to gain from this course? I would like to gain the information necessary to help any child that I come in contact with. I want to know the differences in major learning styles and what I can do to help them in my classroom including resources for gaining information and educating myself, other students, teachers, and parents.

Student Motivations: I chose this topic because I think that this is something that can be used for children with disabilities or without. I believe that students will rise to the occasion if you give them the chance along with the tools to succeed. As their teachers we set the expectations we want and hope that our students achieve what is expected. We are also responsible for setting an environment that will help them to succeed. I believe that the resources I have found have very good tips in helping our children stay motivated throughout the learning process whether they have a disability or not.

Top Five Tips I Learned:
  • Paying Attention to the “Crest of the Wave" If you're not riding the crest of the wave, you'll find yourself beneath it. Much like waves in the ocean that build, peak, then come crashing down, there are spells, crests, and tumbles in levels of engagement in the learning environments. When students' ability to draw useful learning from a given mode of instruction has been maximized, the crest of the wave has been reached. at this point it is in the best interest of voth the teacher and the student to moce forward to some alternative form of interaction, to engage in a distinct change of pace that will recapture their focus and interest. A state of change occurs when a teacher changes the method of instruction for the class from one modality to another (Resource #1).
  • Music can be a motivating and fun way to teach all children, particularly children who have special learning needs. For children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, music strategies may be an effective way to stimulate speech development, provide organization for cognitive and motor development, and create a meaningful environment for socialization and leisure pursuits (Resource #2).
  • Strategize with struggling students. When students are struggling with poor academic performance, low self-efficacy or low motivation, one strategy that may help is to teach them how to learn. That is, to outline specific strategies for completing an assignment, note-taking or reviewing for an exam (Resource #4).
  • The task should also be meaningful and relevant to the learner. Students often comment "Why do I have to learn about"¦.. I'll never use this when I grow up!" The aim of the task should be to improve or gain some skill rather than rote memorization of irrelevant facts (Resource #6).
  • Encourage the building of a community of learners in your class, where everyone supports everyone else’s attempt to learn (Resource #8)
Top Resource:

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http://www.michigantsa.com/downloads/2009%20Conference%20Presentations/McGill%20Breakouts/Motivation%20HNDT%20.pdf


This is my top resource because of the amount of information that is represented and because it can be used for children with a disability or without. This link leads you to a packet that was used in a presentation and training class. The information is relevant to many different settings, ages, and needs. The information is not just about motivating the students within the areas that they need it but making a difference within yourself and the way you teach. The tips and examples are easy to follow and can be implemented right away to help your entire class. The packet makes you question what you're doing, observe your own teaching strategies, and then gives you suggestions to making what you're already doing better. This is a great resource and should be used by teachers with students with disabilities and by those that don't.


Additional Resources: 2-9
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http://affnet.ucp.org/ucp_channeldoc.cfm/1/16/98/98-98/5093

This resource is presented by the United Cerebral Palsy and has information specifically for parents and teachers that work with children that have cerebral palsy. The information is about music, singing, and the ways that both of these help children with this disability.


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http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/support/816-motivating-kids-learning-attention-problems.gs


This information and resource is specific to help motivate children with learning and attention problems. Within this resource learn how to help kids find joy in learning and help them to face their struggle and frustrations. Issues discussed in this article are what dampens motivation, fires motivation, and also how you can help your child or student find their passion and interests. There are many different tips that will not only help teachers but also the child's parent.



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http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/motivation.html

Motivation is the center focus of this resources and has a multitude of information that is very useful. The information is intended for students in middle school or high school but can be useful in elementary classrooms as well. Topics that address are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Within these two areas there are explanations, tips, and information on how to help students, improve yourself and much more. Besides the information you see directly on the page there are many other resources that can be accessed to further your information and study. There are websites, books, articles, and PowerPoint presentations. This is a wonderful resource and can be used by itself or along side others.

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http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=1850&CAT=none

This resource doesn't have much length to the information but it is all very important. This has many great ideas and should be used as a quick reference or when you're looking for just a couple tips.

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http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/motivate.htm

"Discipline and motivation are two sides of the same sword. A motivated student is not a discipline problem, and discipline problems are caused by a lack of motivation. The problem for teachers is finding enough time, energy and ideas."
-Alan Haskvitz

Alan Haskvitz is the author and creator of this link and he has included anything and everything you need to know when helping your students, parents, and even yourself. He has gathered many different links and resources that will help a variety of educators and parents. They are all very useful and should be used within the classroom and out. This is a must to pass on to parents and other coworkers.


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http://www.theideacenter.org/sites/default/files/Idea_Paper_40.pdf

This link will take you to a research paper created by the IDEA center. The paper is written to focus on upper age children including middle and high school. It focuses on reading and how to encourage and help our students obtain this skill. Many of the tips are for college settings and classes but I believe they can be implemented into any age classroom. There are a total of fourteen tips that should be applied when have a child read, choosing assigned readings and much more. Below is a sample of one of the tips you will find from this paper.

Tip 2: “Less is more” applies to course reading: A triaged reading list should contain fewer, carefullychosen selections, thereby reducing student perception of a Herculean workload (Lowman, 1995). Each of the remaining texts/reading assignments should connect obviously to the course: they should show up as part of in-class presentations, factor into course projects, or appear on examinations. Connections as obvious as these offer students an indisputable higher yield on their reading investment, thus increasing the likelihood that students will attempt the course reading assignments (Grunert, 1997; Maleki & Heerman, 1992), a necessary first step for deriving intended benefits from the assignment (McDougall & Cordiero, 1993).

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http://www.theideacenter.org/sites/default/files/Idea_Paper_41.pdf

This is a great resource because it comes straight from the IDEA center and is a research paper. Within this paper it addresses the issues of Student Goal Orientation, Motivation, and Learning. It deeply explains the idea of mastery oriented students and performance oriented students. With the helpful charts and explanations you will be able to see which of your students fit where and how to appropriately motivate and encourage them. At the end of the paper it gives you seven tips that summarize the paper and can be a quick reference to implement into your class everyday.

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Ferlazzo, L. (2011). Helping students motivate themselves: practical answers to classroom challenges. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

This book is written by a famous blogger Larry Ferlazzo. Within the book it gives many great tips and helps to answer questions that are common within a classroom. These questions include:
- How do you motivate students?
- How do you help students see the importance of personal responsibility?
- How do you deal with a student who is being disruptive in class?
- How do you regain control of an out-of-control class?
The book is about helping to give your students the tools they need to motivate themselves. It's an outline of many common classroom struggles and addresses them with steps that can be implemented today. The book covers many lessons including topics such as self-control, personal responsibility, brain growth, and perseverance.